Kyoto has been the imperial capital of Japan for more than a 1000 years, until 1868, when the flashing lights of Tokyo seemed to be more appropriate for a new and open Japan. The city in itself is not amazing but it has extraordinary spots where a preserved and natural charm from old times is still visible. Kyoto is the image of the classic Japan, from traditional wooden houses to the sacred shrines, from the Pontocho district to the walking geishas in narrow lanes along the Kamo-gawa (the river).

Beyond these gates, it is the imperial palace which I have not visited given I was not aware of the fact that one has to reserve the slot with several days in advance... I will be back then.

The tea-house of the Imperial Park - a secret well kept. It was empty, it is not mentioned in any guide. I found it by accident and it is a relaxing spot where silence and beauty meet for a while.

Nijo-jo castle, an amazing palace, built for the visitors and for the Shoguns. It was here that Emperor Meiji received the resignation of the last Shogun in 1867.

Ponto-Cho district, the geisha's area. They are still visible as one can see in the photo.

Kiyomizu-dera, the most beautiful temple in Kyoto and its defining sight. Dates back to 1633 and it is very well preserved.

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